One day last week when Ian and Elliott were both at grandma and grandpa's house, I got an email from grandma informing me of a possible crime. She wanted to make it clear that if indeed it was a crime, she was innocent. It seems at some point Elliott told grandma and grandpa they needed to keep the noise down because they were going to "wake the neighbors". Grandma wanted to assure me that he had not picked that phrase up from them. As I read her account of what had happened, I couldn't help but smile as I realized he was using a phrase on them I had thrown his way once or twice in an effort to bring peace to our house. My smile, however, was brief.
This past weekend Elliott was signing a song in the kitchen. When Elliott sings, it often puts me in the mood to sing along, so I did. The problem is, more often than not Elliott prefers a solo act over being just another singer in a band. He has also learned that when he tells me to stop singing, it usually only provokes me to sing along louder than I was before. This is in part teasing, but also letting him know that some stop signs were meant to be run. Elliott, never one to give up though, experimented with a new tactic.
"Daddy, you need to stop singing, you're going to wake the neighbors."
I did stop, at least long enough to scan his mama's face to see if she had witnessed our exchange; her snicker said she had. That was all the time Elliott needed to get back on the road with his solo act.
Getting on the road in our house this week suddenly requires watching your step. Whereas last week you could set Ian down in one spot and be sure you'd find him there when you returned, this week, you may find him in an entirely different room after the briefest of absences. And I do wonder, with floors cluttered beyond recognition with toys, why does a baby spare no effort in navigating over, under, around, and through those very toys to get to the closest electric cord, even if closest happens to be the neighbor's garage (who is probably cleaning it after being suddenly awakened by my singing).
If history is any predictor of Ian's future, he won't spend much time crawling. Elliott only crawled long enough to discover that by crawling, he could relocate himself near objects that would support him as he climbed to his feet. And within a week of that discovery, he was taking his first steps. I recalled that last night as Ian crawled over to me as I lay on the floor. He put both hands on my knees and began a wobbly rise to his feet. He didn't get very far, but then again, he didn't get very far last week as he struggled to get up on his knees.
I am sure Ian is about to lead the way on several new adventures in our family.
Be sure to check out the new videos below and the pictures in Ian and Elliott's photo albums.
Having exhausted all efforts helping Elliott realize that he is just too big to be playing with Ian as roughly as he unintentionally does, we decided to go a different route. We've begun to train Ian in the art of self defense. So far, the project has only served to elevate the level of rough play - I have no idea why.
We attended a Fourth of July party that may end up being Elliott's coming out party. When a group of party goers joined hands and began dancing in a circle, Elliott was not to be left out. In fact, he enjoyed the experience so much that he tried to circle up mama and me several more times over the weekend in an attempt to get in additional dance time.
One of the most vivid memories I have of my great-grandmother is a scene of a 70+ year-old woman chasing a chicken around a large barnyard. When she caught it, she immediately pinned the chicken's head to the ground using an iron rod and two elderly, yet soon to be proven capable, feet. When she knew the chicken was positioned just right, she pulled on its hind legs and in an instant, a young boy would forever carry with him an illustration of the cliche' "running around like a chicken with its head cut off".
Bumpa Almond has recently decided to dabble in the chicken business. He has several young chicks and Elliott has taken a real interest in them. Last week, the two chicken famers created another chicken memory that may not supplant the image I have of my great grandmother Elliott, but it does provide a lighter piece to tuck away in my collection of chicken memories. I do wonder, how large is the average collection of chicken memories?
By all accounts, the video captures nothing more than a grandpa honoring the request of a 2 1/2 year-old grandson. A grandson that was anxious to share his sliding board with a baby chick. Now, the account of this video comes from a grandpa that understands the power of PETA, so it would make perfect sense to blame his grandson who doesn't yet know what the letters in his name stand for, let alone the four letters in the alphabet that heat up like 4th of July fireworks if a cockroach happens to find the wrong side of a tennis shoe.
I do hope PETA will overlook this innocent act of a toddler. But if not, I will just smile and thank God that they never hung out in the barnyard with my great-grandmother.